Post-Brexit fishing licenses: London will summon the French ambassador

The conflict is bogged down between France and the United Kingdom over the licenses granted to French fishermen under the Brexit agreement. London will summon the French ambassador after threats of retaliation formulated by Paris, which accuses the United Kingdom of granting too few licenses, announced the British government.

Judging the actions envisaged by France “Unjustified”, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss instructed her Secretary of State for Europe, Wendy Morton, to “Summon the French ambassador”, a British government spokesperson said in a statement.

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“We regret the language of confrontation which has been constantly used by the French government on this issue, which does not facilitate the resolution of things”, added the spokesperson.

Jersey “extremely disappointed”

The tone quickly rose on Wednesday after France announced the entry into force of the first retaliatory measures against the Channel Islands and the United Kingdom. These measures – tightening controls and banning British boats from landing in French ports – are due to come into force on November 2, if French fishermen do not obtain by then more licenses to fish in their waters.

“We reiterate that the government has granted 98% of license applications from EU vessels to fish in UK waters and as we have made clear we will consider any evidence for those who remain ”, added the same source, citing again a figure disputed by France, which speaks of 90%.

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For its part, the government of the island of Jersey said “Extremely disappointed” by announcing retaliatory measures. This dependence on the British crown has also announced the issuance of twenty new licenses to French boats, most of them temporary.

“We are extremely disappointed by the announcement of the French government (…), in which he explained that he was considering retaliatory measures ”Environment Ministers John Young and Foreign Ministers Ian Gorst said in a statement.

Risk of escalation

The strengthening of controls of British vessels by the French authorities seems to have already started with the verbalization on the night of Wednesday to Thursday of two fishing boats, although the ministry clarified that these were usual seasonal controls. .

One of the two ships “Did not appear on the lists of licenses granted in the United Kingdom” by the European Commission and France. He was diverted to the port of Le Havre, according to the ministry. The owner of the baffled Scottish trawler told AFP that it was a “Misunderstanding” and denounced a “Political maneuver”. He risks a fine of 75,000 euros and administrative sanctions, the prosecution announced Thursday.

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Few British vessels dock in French ports while there are very many French fishermen in British waters, he told the BBC, adding that an escalation would be to the detriment of the French.

And in particular French wholesalers, these professionals who buy landed fish wholesale and prepare them for distribution. They rely heavily on British produce and took a stand on Thursday against any “A measure as simplistic as it is harmful” which would deprive them of these products.

The World with AFP

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Post-Brexit fishing licenses: London will summon the French ambassador

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